Bach’s St John Passion at St Albans Abbey

A MASTERPIECE which powerfully depicts the events leading up to the Crucifixion is being performed by St Albans Bach Choir on Saturday night.

Staying true to their name, the choir will be performing J S Bach’s St John Passion with its dramatic narrative punctuated by highly-charged choruses and reflective arias and chorales.

Music director, Andrew Lucas, said: “It’s always a pleasure for us to perform the music of J S Bach. The Passion according to St John is superbly dramatic and contrasts wonderfully with the more epic proportions and expansive approach in the better known St Matthew Passion.

“Our tradition is to perform these Passions in English so that the audience can engage fully with the story as it unfolds from the majestic opening chorus to the final chorale – a sublime statement of faith.”

Rogers Covey-Crump, internationally renowned for his interpretation of the role, will sing the part of the Evangelist at the concert in St Albans Cathedral. A member of the celebrated Hilliard Ensemble, he is also in demand as a soloist throughout Europe and North America.

He said: “My parents were at the heart of the local amateur music scene for several decades, my mother being a founder member of ‘Mr Luttman’s Choir’ in the 1920s, subsequently renamed the Bach Choir, and apart from four years as a boy chorister at New College Oxford I have lived most of my life as a born and bred Albanian.

“I sang in the St Albans School Choir and at 17 joined the Cathedral Choir as a young tenor. After eleven years as a lay clerk my professional career was taking off and so I’ve now been an itinerant for 40 years. It is a special pleasure to be invited by the Bach Choir since it represents a homecoming from my worldwide travels.”

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The other soloists are Adrian Powter (baritone), who sings the part of Christus, Daniel Collins (countertenor), Peter Mitchell (tenor) and two recent Kathleen Ferrier Award winners – Laurie Ashworth (soprano) and Njabulo Madlala (baritone). Cathedral Organ Scholar Peter Holder plays continuo and the orchestra is Sinfonia Verdi. The performance will be conducted by Andrew Lucas.

The performance starts at 7.30pm and tickets at �25, �20, �15 (reserved) and �10 (unreserved and concessions) are available from the Cathedral Information Desk between 11am and 4pm daily.